When I first met Bob Hoebeke of Hoebeke Builders, Inc.  and he explained what he planned to do in his new Farmer’s Branch development, I said, “Bob, you are re-creating Seaside in North Texas without the Beach!”

Little did I know, Seaside and Watercolor are exactly what he had in mind, only for North Texas.

Seaside and WaterColor are two coveted vacation home communities on Florida’s Gulf Coast that are hugely popular with Texans. Seaside, the original, is a poster child, master-planned community along Highway 30-A in the Florida panhandle, a 28.5 mile corridor that hugs the Gulf of Mexico coastline in Northwest Florida’s Walton County. The area takes you back in time to the days when Florida was just a sleepy sand and water state. Here is where the cottages of Seaside were born, planting a standard-setting imprint upon New Urbanism. Consumers snatched up beachy homes and white picket fences, but also completely walkable communities where cars were parked, locked (didn’t have to be) and families could walk to everything.

Beach towns were the first inspiration for strolling urbanism, because what do you do most at the beach? Walk!

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What if I told you about a splash of dirt that was just north of LBJ near Marsh Lane, verdantly green, faces an idyllic lake with a bridge where the kids can fish, ducks can prance, a weekend Farmer’s Market is within walking distance, and your taxes are among the lowest in Texas?

Oh and the neighbors are terrific!

Dallas Home builder Bob Hoebeke looked all over north Texas literally — Richardson, Plano, Frisco — until he made his discovery in Farmers Branch.

“I devised a route,” he told me, “I drove all over tarnation looking for lots. When you reach a certain age, and you semi-retire, you don’t need expenses (TAXES, high energy bills) to swallow a huge portion of your income — you need your income for fun. But still, you want your dirt for the grandkids. And if you play golf, Brookhaven Country Club is just down the street.”

Bob turned right on Bee Street, and found Danny Lane. There sat an old white farmhouse on two lots. It was acreage. It had trees. It had a lake across the street. Bingo. In 24 hours he had it under contract to buy. Two other pieces of adjoining property pushed back to Leta Mae Lane so he created a two acre spread that will hold five lots of about .25 acre each, ultimately five homes, all developed by Hoebeke Properties.

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